Replace holiday eats with healthy options

After Valentine’s Day, life either gets better or goes back to normal — many people, like a particular Daily Trojan columnist, also outgrow their favorite pair of jeans after eating an impossible amount of chocolate. Yes, chocolate is said to be “good for you,” if it is dark chocolate — cures cancer and what not — but for the most part, I look at chocolate as a way to bury my sorrows and indulge in something sweet — because after all, food really is better than boys.

In reality, being in love with the edible is actually quite challenging because as much as I would love to practice what I preach 24/7, eating chocolate all of the time is not one of my many favorite things to do. Which brings me to my next point — what do you do with leftover chocolate? Gifting chocolate to your friends is always great, but then you’re the friend who makes people fat — nothing is wrong with some extra love, but Cabo will say otherwise. Using chocolate to prank people is always a clever idea, but that is so middle school. You could throw chocolate away, but why waste money and good quality dessert?

One solution: bake it and give it to charity or random hungry USC students.

As USC students living in downtown Los Angeles, I feel it is our responsibility to give back to the community that we use as our stomping ground. Even though Valentine’s Day has already passed, there is never a better time than now to show the love and appreciation that we feel towards our neighborhood. I know what you’re thinking and yes, I agree that this does sound pretty bold — just think about all of the people whose days you would be making, better yet, know any freshmen, leaving sweets in a dorm, office, or bringing them to class is a sure fire way to get rid of them.

Apart from doing something nice for someone else, this is a great opportunity to bond and bake with friends — on my end, not a day goes by without someone baking white chocolate chip blondies made out of leftover white chocolate Hershey kisses, or garnishing cupcakes with sweetheart candies. Though baking may be considered a very female activity to do, baking is totally acceptable for guys, too.

Buddy Valastro of TLC’s Cake Boss is one dude who really enjoys his sweets — he created wild and fabulous cake creations at his grandfather’s Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, N.J., which made him a television sensation. It’s a shame too bad he is no longer on TV, I enjoyed the loud Italian quarrels over which fondant was better for vanilla and chocolate cakes.

Post-Valentine’s Day is almost like New Years. After eating all of the chocolate there is another opportunity to start that diet all over again to see if Cabo is truly in your future. Willpower and a sweet tooth will challenge your path to success but as long as you have your eyes on the ultimate prize, no, not sweets, you will be good to go.

I would advocate going sugar free, but what is the point of cheating if you could just as easily purchase the real thing? Sugar-free sweets are a lie because sometimes they have even more calories to make up for the lack of “sugar” in the mix and can also be more expensive — your college wallet is begging you not to.

Valentine’s Day only comes once a year, but that does not mean that you should dwell on the bad and ugly parts about it. For me, the holiday happened and it was swell. I spent time with my friends and ate really good food — the highlight being homemade rice crispy treats which you cannot back out on, as well as some super sassy chocolate cake that had this sweet chocolate and cream cheese frosting that gave off the essence of raspberries — truly a mind-blowing experience.

For more chocolate-gifting ideas check out some of my favorite chocolate blogs  -— “Chocolate Covered Katie” and also “Your Cup of Cake” — written by two ladies that are super fit and seem to only consume sweets and chocolate. Their blogs have tons of great, simple and fun ideas that can be done with chocolate, without chocolate, instead of chocolate as well as other sweet ideas that you can enjoy.


Alegra Hueso is a sophomore majoring in creative writing.  Her column, “In Love With the Edible,” runs on Wednesdays.